“There is no Mitsotakis for me. I will never see him again,” the visibly furious Turkish president said on Monday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that does not intend ever again meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the latter’s criticism of Turkey during his visit to the US earlier in the week.
“I no longer know Mitsotakis. I won’t talk to him anymore. We agreed not to include third countries in our dispute with him. But he went to the US and criticized Turkey (in Congress). He can build as many military bases as he likes along with others. Turkey is self-sufficient.”
During a cabinet meeting, Erdogan is reported to have mentioned the Gülen Movement, an organization that Turkey defines as a terrorist organization and accuses its leader of being behind the failed coup in 2016.
“How does Greece feel about us at the moment? Isn’t Greece the destination for the FETO organization at the moment? There are currently 10 US bases in Greece. Why are these bases being created in Greece? Against who? Greece currently owes 400 billion euros to European countries,” he continued.
Last week, speaking before the US Congress, Prime Minister Mitsotakis mentioned the recent overflight of the Greek islands by Turkish fighters. The Greek prime minister did not name Turkey, but asked congressmen to reconsider the sale of fighter jets [агрессивному] neighbor.
“Let Mitsotakis think about the future. We are self sufficient. We are faced with Greece, which suggests that the US “do not provide Turkey with F-16s.” From that moment on, Mitsotaki did not exist for me. The United States will probably not act on Greek words,” President Erdogan added.
Bahceli: Mitsotakos – “a pawn of the West and a coward”
Speaking to his parliamentary group, the leader of the nationalist movement “Grey Wolves” Devlet Bahceli used very harsh words and called the Greek prime minister a “pawn of the West” and a “coward”.
“That this prime minister, timidly sheltered under the wings of the United States and acting here and there, seeks to become a pawn of the West is a historic break, a dishonorable weakness. Mitsotakis, who put the map on the agenda [плана турецкой экспансии] Blue Motherland during a meeting with the President of the United States and complained about Turkey, as treacherous and cowardly as his grandparents. The Turkish people will resist to the end the policy of persecution and provocations of Greece, and under any circumstances will resist the attackers in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.
In his speech Bahceli, reportedly, also said: “The Greek Prime Minister’s visit to the United States, the dubious and unscrupulous scenes during this visit, once again exposed the growing prejudice against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. USA and Greece met on the same line […] they found a common language against Turkey.”
He also attacked Mitsotakis for mentioning the Cyprus issue during his speech to the US Congress and stated that the Greek Prime Minister “ignored the facts and tried to cover up barbarism. First of all, let everyone know that Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish. As opposed as Prime Minister Mitsotakis may be, there is no other option in Cyprus than a two-state solution based on sovereignty and equality. The will of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in this direction. Either they will accept it voluntarily, or this goal will become a reality.”
Erdogan’s government partner said: “When will Mitsotakis remember the massacres, bloody attacks, atrocities and torture against the Turkish Cypriots? When will he confess and express his honest attitude? The fate of Cyprus is not Greek rule, but Turkish rule.”
Shortly after Erdogan’s announcement, Turkish fighter jets violated Greek airspace and the Athens FIR on Monday night and entered 8.5 nautical miles north of the island of Lesvos. They were intercepted by Greek fighters.
The reaction of Greece was prompt. She was voiced by government spokesman Yannis Oikonomou:
“Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis defends both our national law and international legitimacy with determination and effectiveness. Greece’s foreign policy is heavily based on history, international law and our alliances, as much as some may worry. We will not oppose the statements of the Turkish leadership. Our politics is the politics of principles.”